Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Featured Fly - Iron Lotus

Some of you may already use this fly, or at least know the name, but this is one of my favorite big water flies. It can mimic just about any mayfly nymph just by changing size of the hook, and color of the thread. A couple years ago before the lotus was in the Umpqua catalogs, I watched George pull 5 fish out of one run on the west branch while we all just stood around waiting for a fish to rise. I was tying up a dozen the other day, and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to use this one a featured fly.

Hook: TMC C200BL sz. 12-16
Rib: Danville 210 - White or Tan 
Tail: CDL Fibers 
Bead: Tungsten Bomb Bead - Copper 
Body: Danville 210 - Olive, Lt. Olive, Brown 
Shell Back:  Scud Back - Black 
Thorax: Peacock Colored Dubbing 
Hot Collar: UNI Thread - Fl. Fire Orange
Over Body: Lacquer 

Step 1: Tie in the rib, making a small taper to the body.

Step 2: Tie in the CDL Feathers. The length of the tail should be about half the hook shank.

Step 3: To add some bulk to the body, wrap the thread forward, covering the CDL.

Step 4: Cut off the extra CDL, then wrap back and forth making a nice tapered body.

Step 5: Wrap the rib forward, leaving enough space for the thorax. This is usually where I lacquer the body.

Step 6: Tie in the Scud Back.

Step 7: Dub the thorax.

Step 8: Brush the dubbing out to the sides.

Step 9: Pull the Scud Back forward and tie it off.

Step 10: Whip finish the olive thread, then tie in and make a hot collar with the UNI Thread.

Step 11: Whip finish the hot collar, cut off, then add a little head cement to the shellback and collar.

Finished Fly:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

West Branch Weekend with the Parenti's

One thing I love about my job, is sharing my obsession with others. This past weekend I had the privilege of sharing not one but two of mine, travel and rising trout.

After one smallmouth trip, countless fly tying lessons, and a few weeks of house sitting, Drew and Linda became more than just customers/clients. Sometime over the winter while eating chicken tacos, and talking about last years fishing trips, the West Branch came up. After a few months of planning and picking a weekend, we were finally on our way.

Drew and Linda make a trip to Montana each year, to see the best the west has to offer, so I felt the need to show them the best the east has to offer. High winds made the first day tough, but we made the best of it. Day two was a new adventure, no wind, but high sun, we were head hunting. Quill Gordons, and Blue Quills floated down the river like micro sailboats, as we watched the banks for rings and white mouths. It was a challenge, big fish mean smart fish, but we made it count.

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's Finally Spring - New Flies

TCO's new flies for the 2014 season have arrived! We have a huge selection for flies for just about any fish that swims, especially trout. We have added around 20 new patterns to the offering and moved them all around, so stop in and check it out for your self!!!

On another note, trout fishing has started to pick up, with water temps finally hitting the mid 50s we should see some solid Caddis action very soon. Casey was out last night, the report was great!

 A couple from my trip back home. Spring time Largemouth!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Corn Field Chaos - VT in a Nutshell

All last week I was up in Vermont, spreading the smallmouth cheer that has taken over my life. I was doing a presentation of PA Smallmouth, and a couple tying demos, but the underlying idea was to fish, and fish we did. However, where there once was a corn field, there was now a lake, and where there were roads, there were now rivers. It was Chaos, prime time for spring runoff, the pike were moving into the fields and the trout were hunkered down, riding out the high water. No fish came to hand in 4 days of hard fishing. It sure wasn't for the lack of trying, we were up early and out late, hours spent behind the windshield trying to find semi clear and low water. Stories of the good old days, and prime conditions kept us moving forward.
OK, now that I'm done cursing Mother Nature’s name, I have to give a big shout out to the guys from Middlebury Mountaineers, and Green Mountain Adventures. They invited me up to do some tying demos and fishing. They tried like hell to put me on fish; Mother Nature had a different plan. Vermont is beautiful, even when the rivers are in the corn fields and flowing with the color of chocolate milk.

Hell of a time boys! Thank you so much for all your efforts and hospitality!!!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Featured Fly - Flash Wing Caddis

Here is a fly that I found somewhere online, deep into my caddis fly pattern search. It was originally tied as an attractor fly for Grayling, but I thought it would be a great caddis fly. I immediately thought early season caddis fly for the Tully. Or better yet, once they have seen it all, throw this at them. It's a very simple and fast tie, so there is no reason to not have a few in your box this season.

Hook: TMC 2488 sz. 14-20
Thread: UNI Thread 8/0 - Tan or Brown 
Body: TCO East Coast Dubbing - Yellow/Tan Caddis 
Underwing: Midge Flash - Pearl 
Wing: CDC - Natural, in a dubbing loop 

Step 1: Make a thread base, about a quarter of the way down the hook bend.

Step 2: Dub the body, remember caddis are a messy bug, so don't be afraid to make it very buggy.

Step 3: Leaving about two hook eye spaces material free, tie in around 5 strands of midge flash.

Step 4: Trim and stack one cdc feather (for sz. 16). Make a thread loop, then lay cdc fibers in the loop.  Spin the cdc and then pick out with a brush.

Step 5: Wrap the cdc loop around the hook, packing the fibers very close.

Step 6: Whip finish and cut thread off.

Step 7:  Now trim the bottom flat, this will add the two tone look to the fly. With more cdc fibers, this will also help grab the powder and in turn keep it floating longer and higher.

Finished Fly: